May Term Study: At Home or Abroad

May Term tripEach May Term, faculty offer short-term study courses in a variety of domestic and international destinations.

A May Term trip is a great option for students who can’t or don’t want to dedicate an entire summer, semester, or year to studying away from campus.  It’s an exciting chance to get outside the classroom and learn by experiencing the world first-hand.

For anywhere between two and three weeks, Mary Baldwin students have the opportunity to study or perform community service in locations such as France, Costa Rica, South Africa, Peru, and Japan. Each trip is different; some tour several sites or countries, while others stay in one place. Students stay in homes or small hotels and often travel by public transportation. But one thing is always the same; students are always taught and accompanied by one or more full-time members of the Mary Baldwin faculty with expertise in the subject and location.

May Term courses are offered in many disciplines. Language programs improve students’ speaking and listening skills and provide cultural context for the language. Cultural programs take students to locations such as Prague, London, and Costa Rica to learn about art, theatre, or science.

Visit the study abroad library at the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement for more information. Students may be eligible to apply financial aid; contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

All program costs include round-trip airfare, accommodations, and course-related expenses.  See the course instructor or the Office of Financial Aid for a breakdown of additional expenses, if any.

Please note: students must be in good academic standing (2.0 GPA minimum) to participate in May Term Abroad. They will also undergo a Student Life clearance to ensure that they have no behavioral issues.

May Term pretty girls teaching

2017 May Term Courses

The completed May Term Study Abroad application (see links below) and non-refundable deposit of $1,000 are due November 2. The balance of payment is due February 1. For general questions, contact Lisa Brown, the Assistant Director of the Spencer Center. For specific questions, contact the instructor of the course about which you are inquiring.

PSY 2XX: Colloquium: The Psychology of Social Justice

Destinations: Amsterdam, Netherlands; The Hague, Netherlands; and Geneva, Switzerland
Cost: Approximately $3600
Tentative dates: 4/28–5/13
Instructor: Dr. Chandra Mason

Social scientists have long been concerned with such questions as “Why do we (as social beings) care about social justice?” This, through recent psychological and site visits, will address this question and related questions. In Amsterdam, sites visits proposed include the Ann Frank house, International Criminal Court, and Prostitute Information Center. In Geneva, students will visit such sites as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the International Red Cross Museum.

CE 102: MBU in Haiti

Destination: Cherident and Jacmel, Haiti
Cost: Approx. $1,600
Tentative dates: 4/29 – 5/9
Instructors: Dr. Bruce Dorries


Students will utilize intercultural communication skills to work with residents of Cherident, Haiti. Specifically, the students will be engaged in a community service learning project to benefit education in the partner community. This project will be at the heart of the experience, providing opportunities to connect theory learned in readings and discussions with practice. Additionally, the trip will include two days in the arts/beach town Jacmel.

LALC 218 and SPAN150/210: May Term in Oaxaca

Destination: Oaxaca, Monte Albán, Atzompa, Mitla, El Tule, Yagul, Teotitlán del Valle, Tiacochahuaya, Hierve el Agua, Ocotlan, and Tilcajete, Mexico.
Cost: Approximately $2,900
Tentative dates: April 24 – May 12
Instructors: Dr. Brenci Patiño


This course offers complete cultural and linguistic immersion through formal classroom instruction and home stays with local families. In addition to taking language and culture courses daily, during their stay in the city of Oaxaca, students will travel to Zapotec archeological sites in the vicinity such as Monte Albán, Mitla, and Yagul. Additionally, students will participate in daily workshops that include, but are not limited to, Oaxacan painters, alebrije-making, dance, Oaxacan cuisine, and music.

ENG 375: Literary London

Destination:  London, England
Cost:  Approx. $4,000
Tentative dates: 4/28 – 5/14
  Dr. Sarah Kennedy and Dr. Katherine Turner


Read classic and modern literary masterworks set in London and then visit the cityscapes that inspired them. Participants will visit the Tower of London, the Globe Theatre, the Charles Dickens Museum, the Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Fleet Street, the John Keats House, Bunhill Cemetery, and more. Participants will also have plenty of free time for independent exploration.

ED110 or PHIL 145: MBU in Costa Rica

Destinations:  Costa Rica
Tentative dates: 5/1 – 5/15
Cost:  Approximately $3,250
Instructors:  Dr. Stephanie Sebolt and Dr. Roderic Owen

Costa Rica has an internationally recognized commitment to peace and social justice, and it is the most stable nation in Central America. Students will engage in school-based service to youth and  work on social justice issues while  also sampling amazing bio-diversity, beautiful tropical beaches, and outdoor adventures. Students may choose to enroll in either the philosophy colloquium: Service Learning in Global Context, 3 s.h. or the education course:  Ed.110 Practicum, 3 s.h. 

2016 Summer Courses

ED 514 or ED 640: Autism on the Seas

Destinations:  Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Cozumel, Mexico
Tentative dates: 8/5 – 8/13
Cost:  Approximately $2,600
Instructor:  Dr. Rachel Potter


The course will include an experience on board a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean (Summer 2017) including travel to and from Cape Canaveral, the port of departure/return. The cruise will be offered in partnership with Autism on the Seas, and will include a group of families traveling with children who have autism and related developmental disabilities. Students will supplement (not supplant) the Autism on the Seas staff in the care and support of the children and families in our travel group.

Virginia Program at Oxford

Destination: St. Anne’s College, Oxford, England
Courses: History (3 credit hours) / English (3 credit hours)
Cost: $7,900 for six weeks, with generous scholarships available for qualified Mary Baldwin students.
Application Deadline: February 15, 2017
Dates: Monday 26 June to Saturday 5 August 2017
Mary Baldwin Contact: Dr. Mary Hill Cole

Join the group of 36 students from Mary Baldwin University, Roanoke College, Sweet Briar College, Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia Military Institute, and Washington & Lee University in studying English history and literature during the age of Queen Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare, and the English Civil War with internationally renowned British scholars. The special highlight of VPO is the weekly tutorial experience, a small group discussion that is the essence of university instruction at Oxford and Cambridge. Cost for six weeks includes full tuition, lodging, all meals, and group excursions to Hampton Court Palace, the Globe Theatre in London, and Royal Shakespeare Company productions in Stratford-upon-Avon.

See Dr. Cole and the VPO website for application materials.